Born in Jackson, Michigan, Andre Hester has had a long history after leaving home to attend boarding school at Detroit Day and eventually coming to Charlotte and being a permanent resident for the past 11 years. Majoring in Art and English in his college years as an outlet to express his hidden talents, he switched to Finance and Economics for a more ‘suitable income’. However, Andre soon realized his life needed to serve a better purpose, therefore, realizing that he wanted to make a difference in his community by being more actively involved and that’s ultimately what drove him to be who he is today: our next inspirational, unpredictable, and most well-rounded, Young Professional of October.
Outside of working for Wells Fargo, Andre is a board member, and President of the Young Professional Council at of one of the most culturally aware non-profits of Charlotte: the Levine Museum of the New South. There, he runs a diverse program that starts conversations.
What kind, you ask? Controversial ones that may make some feel uncomfortable and others feel like they’re being heard. Prevailing exhibits from the Levine Museum of the New South include K(NO)W Justice, K(NO)W Peace, which discusses the topic of police brutality and how its impacted Charlotte and the rest of the nation. Using names, voices, and stories of real people, the well-crafted exhibit aims to reach people of all age groups in order to educate and keep the public aware of the realities of our society. “These types of conversations change views,” says Hester.
After living in the QC for several years, Hester was able to watch Charlotte grow and redefine what the New South meant to him. After studying at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, Andre moved to Charlotte, where he and his African-American friends were discriminated against, giving him a bad impression of his new home. He now believes that Charlotte is more welcoming to all people which has helped it increased its diversity, but there’s still some work that needs to be done. With our rich history, he hopes that the Levine Museum is able to educate about our past, talk about the present, and change the future.
Andre has held many other civic leadership roles in Charlotte too. In fact, he has also served on the board of Renaissance West Community Initiative, and is a member of Men 4 Meck, in addition to being an ambassador for a host of other non-profits, just to name a few. From arts & culture to mentoring, to basketball, football, traveling, and performing arts — Andre Hester likes to “surprise people sometimes”, because we’ve got to stop judging people from the surface. Stop by the Levine Museum of the New South and get to know our newest YP of the Month.